When Houston’s offense gets going Cheap Russell Bodine Jersey
, the Rockets are nearly impossible to beat.
James Harden had 25 points and 12 assists to lead Houston to a 113-92 win over Utah in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Friday night.
Eric Gordon added 25 points and Chris Paul had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Rockets. Houston beat Utah in Salt Lake City for the third time this season to take a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 is on Sunday.
The Rockets attacked the Jazz everywhere en route to rolling up 70 points before halftime. When Utah drove Houston off the perimeter, it yielded repeated slashes to the rim for layups. When the Jazz dropped back in to shore up the interior, the Rockets came up with well-timed 3-pointers to keep the heat on.
”We’re just not going to force anything,” Harden said. ”Whatever they give us, we’re going to take and we’re going to have confidence in our guys and we’re going to make shots.
Royce O’ Neale scored 17 points. Alec Burks chipped in 14 points while Rudy Gobert added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz.
Utah never got on track on offense. The Jazz shot poorly over the first three quarters and committed 16 turnovers. Houston scored 19 points off those miscues.
”I thought our defense was superb,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”We were hitting shots all over the place. We just got a hold of it, kept the crowd out of it and kept them on their heels. You could see the guys feeding off good defense after good defense. When you do that and your energy is right, the shots start to go down and good things happen.”
Houston could not have scripted a much better start than what the Rockets produced on Friday night.
A listless first-half effort ultimately sealed Houston’s fate in Game 2. The Rockets avoided enduring another slow start by clamping down on defense and playing efficient offense.
Houston picked apart Utah’s defense practically from the opening tip. The Rockets opened the game by scoring baskets on six of their first seven possessions. Harden capped the flurry with his first basket to put Houston up 15-5.
It only grew worse for the Jazz from there. The Rockets led by as many as 22 in the first quarter Youth Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys
, taking a 37-15 lead on back-to-back baskets from Harden and Gerald Green.
Houston made 16 of its 26 shots in the first quarter and totaled 39 points in the period.
”They were focused and determined to do what they wanted to do,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”We just didn’t provide enough resistance in a lot of areas.”
As effective as the Rockets were on offense, their defense proved equally troublesome for Utah. Houston forced the Jazz to commit six turnovers before the start of the second quarter and scored nine points off those turnovers.
”They just took us out of our rhythm and we can’t let that happen,” guard Donovan Mitchell said. ”They were the aggressor all night and we got to be able to understand they’re gonna be aggressive and we’ve got to be able to counter.”
Utah cut Houston’s lead 49-34 midway through the second quarter after O’ Neale scored three straight baskets to fuel a 9-0 run. Clint Capela ended the run with a dunk and the Rockets proceeded to outscore the Jazz 31-9 over a 10 minute stretch extending into the third quarter.
They pushed their lead to 80-43 on a driving layup from Ariza with 8:01 left in the quarter.
Rockets: Gordon finished with a postseason-high in points. …Houston did not commit a turnover in the first quarter. … The Rockets outscored the Jazz 20-10 in fastbreak points after totaling just five in Game 2. … Houston finished with 50 points in the paint for the second straight game.
Jazz: Derrick Favors exited with an ankle sprain in the third quarter. Favors totaled two points, two rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes. … Houston’s 39 first quarter points is the most given up by Utah in any quarter in a playoff game this season. … Mitchell scored only 10 points after going just 4-of-16 from the field.
BACK TO FORM
Eric Gordon got his shooting groove back in Game 3. Gordon attacked the rim early and then hit several key 3-pointers as the game progressed. He ended up going 8-of-13 from the field and shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line.
It marked a big change of pace for Gordon who has struggled to find his shot at times during the postseason. Coming into Friday night, he had shot just 31.4 percent from the field and averaged 12.9 points over seven playoff games
”I just got to continue to be aggressive,” Gordon said. ”It doesn’t change for me.”
The Latest on the Supreme Court ruling striking down a federal law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states (all times local):
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for states to legalize betting on sports Authentic Rasmus Dahlin Jersey
, breaking a longtime ban and creating a potential financial boon for states and the gambling industry. The first bets could be placed within weeks.
The high court has struck down a federal law that had barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. States that want to take advantage of the ruling now will generally have to pass legislation to allow sports books to open.
Sports leagues had expressed concerns about any expansion of sports gambling. But the ruling also could be seen as bringing a popular activity out of the shadows. Americans wager about $150 billion on sports each year illegally, according to the American Gaming Association.
An oddsmaker at one Las Vegas resort sees little chance that betting in other states will siphon business away from Las Vegas.
Westgate race and sports book chief Jay Kornegay calls Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing sports betting in states an opportunity for which sports books have been preparing for a long time.
Kornegay says tourists don’t just come to Las Vegas to wager at the sports book. They also visit restaurants, casino tables, stores, pool venues, theaters and nightclubs.
Kornegay predicts crowd will still come for big events like the NCAA basketball March Madness tournament, the NFL Super Bowl Darius Leonard Colts Jersey
, boxing and mixed martial arts fights, and the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup horse races.
He says people who are introduced to legal gambling in their home states might then want to visit Las Vegas.
Casino operator MGM Resorts International does not expect the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on sports betting to have a negative impact on the Las Vegas market.
CEO Jim Murren tells The Associated Press the company has polled customers in focus groups around the U.S. and found that widespread sports betting opportunities will not keep fans from traveling to the nation’s gambling mecca.
Murren says people will want to visit the market leader, which will take them to Las Vegas’ sports books.
The Las Vegas-based company operates more than 10 properties there and several more in the U.S. and abroad.
Murren says the ruling will increase consumer interest in sports.
An executive with a company that owns casinos in 18 states and Ontario, Canada, says the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on sports gambling could begin a ”land rush” for states to enact sports wagering laws.
Penn National Gaming senior vice president Eric Schippers says West Virginia is already at work on regulations to enable sports betting in that state by the start of the NFL season in September.
Penn National operates the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, about 60 miles west of Washington, D.C.
The company also operates the Tropicana resort on the Las Vegas Strip and the M Resort in suburban Henderson, Nevada.
Longtime sportscaster Brent Musburger says prohibition didn’t work with liquor and prohibition didn’t work for sports betting.
The former ESPN announcer now heads a sports betting broadcast called Vegas Stats and Information Network.
He’s calling Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on sports betting in states a healthy thing for sports and the public.
Musburger says sports betting and influence scandals are rare, and all that bookmakers in Las Vegas want is integrity and honesty.
He says the ruling takes sports betting ”out of the underground and makes it mainstream.”
Casino giant Caesars Entertainment says you can bet it will expand its sports wagering business to states where it says secure and responsible gambling is legalized.
It’s not talking yet about details.
Company president and chief executive Mark Frissora says Monday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court could end illegal sports wagering by replacing it with a well-regulated alternative that sports fans can trust.
Las Vegas-based Caesars operates 47 casinos in 13 U.S. states and five countries.
Frissora says the company will announce its specific approach to adding sports books after regulations evolve from the court ruling.
New Jersey lawmakers have introduced new legislation that would regulate and tax sports betting Youth DJ Moore Jersey
, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize it.
A bill sponsored Monday by Democratic state Senate president Steve Sweeney and others would set an 8 percent tax rate for bets made in person at casinos and racetracks, and 12.5 percent on online bets.
The state Division of Gaming Enforcement, Casino Control Commission, and state Racing Commission would all be involved in regulating sports bets that would be placed through casinos and racetracks.
The bill would presumably supplant one introduced last week that would have paid an ”integrity fee” to the sports leagues, in effect giving them a cut of the proceeds from sports betting.
The National Council on Problem Gambling says the high court ruling offers the largest potential expansion of gambling in U.S. history, and predicts many more people will develop gambling problems or worsen existing ones unless steps are taken to minimize risks.
Marlene Warner, the group’s .